Following her best-selling, award-winning novel Glorious, McFadden produces a fantastical historical novel featuring the spirit of Emmett Till.
GATHERING OF WATERS is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.
TASS HILSON AND EMMETT TILL were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
FORTY YEARS LATER, AFTER THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.
GATHERING OF WATERS mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.
"McFadden works a kind of miracle -- not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . .The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits." --National Book Award Winner, Jesmyn Ward for The New York Times Book Review
"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness." --Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR; click here to hear the entire review
"As strange as this may sound, Bernice L. McFadden has created a magical, fantastic novel centered around the notorious tragedy of Emmett Till's murder. This is a startling, beautifully written piece of work." --Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River
“I couldn't stop reading, caught up as I was in that enticing place between truth and fantasy, the here-and-now and the what-was, the living and the dead, the ugliness and the beauty, the hatred and the love. What a rich chorus of voices Bernice McFadden has fashioned from this place called Money." --Lee Martin, author of Break the Skin and
Generally, the end of the year is a nail-biting time for authors.
During November and December, magazines, literary publications and major newspapers begin to roll out lists of best/notable books of the year.
Of course, as a writer, you pray and hope that your book will be on at least one of those lists.
I am honored and humbled to announce that my novel, …
I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I've posted!!!
I can't say that I've been busy - I think preoccupied is a better word. I have a lot of changes happening in my life. I want to say some are good and some are not so good - but I don't think that would be an accurate statement.
So I'll just say that some of the changes are very scary. Maybe once the cycle is complete I'll look back an ask, "What in the world were you afraid of, this is…Continue
Last year I was thrilled to have been nominated for an NAACP IMAGE AWARD. It was one of the highlights of my literary career.
But there was one thing that did put a damper on the experience - the literary portion of the show was not aired on national television. It was "just" streamed live on the Internet.
In fact, the literary portion of the awards is part of the pre-show and so we folks have to show up an hour or so earlier than the other…Continue